I just want to share an experience on not stressing about the reading. I know there are some children out there who are quite eager to be reading at 3. However, for a lot of kids, this is a completely unreasonable expectation. Before finding CM, I had unreasonable expectations.
My oldest son has autism. He's what many would refer to as high functioning. I had been working with him on learning his letters since he was about 4. We worked on letter sounds. We spent a whole year just doing ma, me, mi, mo, mu type nonsense. (which it did help eventually, but anyway...) I finally, through doing some online research, discovered Better Late Than Early. I believe that book does discuss some researched negatives on early reading, but I'm not positive as it's been a few years since I've looked at it.
From that book I learned to relax. We even took a whole year off doing 'school' when my son was about 8-9. I was a little freaked out about doing that, but it helped in so many ways. We learned to relax with each other. I learned it wasn't the end of the world that he wasn't reading yet.
After the year off, we picked up on some simple reading again. Cvc words. We spent another year on cat, hat, mat, etc. Again before CM. I was muddling my way through.
My son learned to read when he was 10. He now reads beautifully. More than that, he understands what he reads. He reads for fun. I have to force him to leave books in the van when we go in stores. He chooses books that I would think are above his reading level, but he reads them anyway. He would really love it if he could read Treasure Island, but it looks too overwhelming to him right now (and rightly so for his developmental level). We were walking through goodwill the other week and he was reading aloud from a book he found there about Pearl Harbor. A lady stopped me and asked what grade he was and then stated that her granddaughter (2 years ahead of him) can't read that well. He also reads by changing voices with the characters. You should hear his Pharaoh voice! (we're reading Exodus right now)
My point in all this is to assure you that it will come. There's no medal that one gets for learning to read by a certain age. One should learn to enjoy reading, not because it's one more chore on the list of life achievements.
We still have a lot of things to work on. Spelling, writing, etc. but I've seen that time has nothing to do with it. Children will learn when they are ready and then they will learn it well. I've even seen this happen in other areas like learning to tie shoes or riding a bike.
That's the take of this mother of a special needs child. I wish I had known about CM all those years ago. I do know now and as we continue to work through the AO years, I will continue to enjoy the progress my son makes as he's ready.
And just fyi, we started Year 1 this past year at age 10.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
On one of the AO yahoo groups, there's been a recent discussion on early reading skills. I thought I would post here my response as it may help some of you with late readers.